Call to drop plan and look at speed
Spring Creek businesses want traffic authorities to ditch plans for a roundabout by the township on State Highway 1 and put in another speed restriction instead.
Traffic slows down to 70kmh through Spring Creek, north of Blenheim, and the NZ Transport Agency is working on plans to install a new roundabout and other proposed safety improvements at the intersection of SH1 and SH6/Rapaura Rd and Ferry Rd.
However, a group of businesspeople contacted the Marlborough Express to say they did not want the roundabout.
They argued that, based on the design the transport agency was consulting on, the roundabout would reduce the number of lanes of traffic, increase gridlock with turning trucks and cars getting stuck waiting for trains to pass at the railway lines, and would block emergency services vehicles.
Entry and exits for businesses in the area would also be affected.
Four Square owner Allan Withers said the most positive change at the intersection had been the reduction of speed to 70kmh through Spring Creek two years ago.
While a crash occurred about every 10.5 months before that speed change, there had only been two recorded crashes at the intersection since then and both were very minor, he said.
"They're living in the past."
Mr Withers said he believed the speed should be reduced further and better road signage.
Spring Creek Service Station owner Fletcher Kydd said the speed reduction and signs that light up to tell people to slow down really worked. "We see people hit their brakes, all the red lights."
Junction Hotel owner Ray Phillips said the corner was not dangerous, but the people that used it were.
Cars didn't come in a constant stream, but in waves, depending on the ferries. There could be 1000 cars one hour, two the next. Just one car could stop the flow."
Mr Phillips and his wife Lynne said they were there all the time - their dining table looked down on the intersection.
Mrs Phillips said people sat in the front window of the bar and counted the people who went through the compulsory stop at the intersection - 10 cars and four trucks in one sitting.
Marlborough Roads highway manager Frank Porter said Marlborough Roads was aware of the businesspeople's concerns.
It was consulting on a preliminary design and would take their concerns into account. "We're going through a process to work through these issues with them. There will be further discussions with the business owners there."
The work on the roundabout was at a very initial design stage, Mr Porter said.
- The Marlborough Express